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Hunterdon County Freeholders’ introduced budget freezes tax rate at 2018 level

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon county tax rate will be frozen at the 2018 level again this year, even with additional COVID-19 emergency response costs, under the 2020 budget introduced by the Hunterdon County Freeholders, at the April 21 board meeting that was held by teleconference.

“Holding the county tax rate at the 2018 level again this year is a key part of the County’s plan for economic recovery. With all else that is going on, our business and residential taxpayers need this,” Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren said.

The 2020 county tax rate will be 31.5 cents per $100 of property valuation, the same rate as in 2019 and 2018, under the $89.348 million county budget.

“The effort in holding the county tax rate flat over the past two years comes from the conservative, business like philosophy in which this Freeholder Board has been engaged for many years,” Van Doren said.

“It comes from controlling costs, which occurs by knowing where the spending is – through a dedicated financial control system, adhered to by all county units and overseen by the Finance Department. And an overall framework of – how can the mandated and necessary services of county government be delivered efficiently,” Van Doren said.

Freeholder Matt Holt, who along with Van Doren serves on the Budget Committee, said, “Our policy over the past number years of tight, conservative budgeting continues to payoff for taxpayers, as the $89.348 million 2020 budget is still $10 million less than the nearly $100 million budget from 2006. In fact, the 2020 budget is even lower than the county budget from a decade ago.”

“If you extrapolate out that 2006 budget with a 2% increase per year, as other counties have done– that budget today would be $130 million, compared to the 2020 Hunterdon budget of $89.348 million introduced tonight,” Holt said.

“While holding the tax rate flat for a second consecutive year, the budget encompasses increases in costs to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic – $100,000 has been added to a one time account set up under the Freeholders’ budget, where it can be closely monitored. Additional budget allocations have also been added for emergency management and for the Health Department,” Van Doren said.

The public hearing on the budget will be held at the May 19, 2020 Freeholder Meeting, at 5:30 p.m.

“We’ll take our guidance from the Governor’s directives and public health officials, but the public should expect that meeting to most likely be conducted remotely,” Van Doren said.

The 2020 Hunterdon County Budget can be vied here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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